“I got to get my life together. This crazy heat made me realize I can’t go to hell.”

I am very fair skinned… I mean really fair skinned. I can get sunburned wearing high SPF lotion. Yesterday, I was in the sun for five minutes loading groceries into my car. My cheeks are still reddish and warm. Suffice to say, I’m ultra-sensitive to sun and heat.

Well… the heat is on again. As a matter of fact, a brutal heat wave is scorching parts of India and Pakistan now causing health concerns, among others. Of course, climate change and global warming are to blame for the alarmingly high temperatures.

Global warming alone causes free radical damage to the skin unimaginable in the past when life was generally cooler, globally. The result on the skin is pigmentation, brown patches, and accelerated aging.

But along with global warming, we also unknowingly expose our poor skin to other heat sources causing further damage.

Certain types of exercise like hot spinning and hot yoga maybe good for the body and mind, but not always for the skin. People who do hot yoga more than five times a week are getting more discoloration and persistent redness. And wearing sunscreen apparently doesn’t seem to help.

Working in a kitchen or bakery can have the same effects too.  

According to a study from Seoul National University College of Medicine, just 30 minutes of heat exposure three times a week for six straight weeks is enough to change your skin. It causes protective antioxidant levels in the skin to drop and genes to create MMP or Matrix Metalloproeinases. These are proteins that break down collagen and elastin, causing wrinkles.

Heat also triggers melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells within our skin. MMP’s and melanocytes both have positive roles to play in protecting the skin from damage and keeping it healthy, but when over stimulated by heat, they can be very damaging. And heat, when experienced regularly, can penetrate as deeply as the sun’s rays.

What’s more? If you’re Asian, African American, or Latina, susceptibility to hyperpigmentation is genetic. Excessive heat just adds fuel to that fire.

But enough of the bad news already… now that you know how bad heat can be for the skin, you can always reduce your exposure – less of that hot spin and hot yoga classes.

If, however, getting exposed to heat cannot be avoided, here’s a few things you can do to protect your skin:

  1. Use mineral-based sunscreens and foundations that contain physical blocks like zinc oxide. They are great at fighting sun damage and heat.
  2. Mineral sprays used throughout the day can also keep the skin cool. Just remember to reapply sunscreen.
  3. Refrigerate your skin treatment products like masks and moisturizing gels and use them immediately after a cool shower and exposure to heat.
  4. Use daily moisturizers and serums that contain copper, magnesium, selenium, radish root and niacinamide. And of course, those powerful antioxidants – C and E.

Finally, don’t forget to wear a good strong deodorant. The last thing you want to be worrying about is odor from the heat sweats.

For more skincare tips, visit our website, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or email us at skinsense@skinsensewellness.com. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We will be happy to see you.

“Hot one minute, then freezing the next. I’m pretty sure spring is a woman.”

The cold never bothered me… just kidding. I’m so glad that winter is finally over, and Spring is here! It’s nice to be able to spend more time outside – the weather is nice and warm, flowers are abloom, the grass is greener, and the air is fresh.

It’s also perfect skin season, after the dry, flaky winter and before greasy, sweaty summer… eew! However, beautiful spring skin doesn’t just happen with the change of season. It takes time, effort, commitment, and a change of regimen.

As you would spring clean your home, you need to do spring cleaning for your skin as well – outside and inside. Here’s a few easy changes to your skincare routine for perfect spring skin.

  1. Start exfoliating to get that dead winter skin off, making skin brighter. For the body, do some vigorous dry brushing, followed by a good soak and scrub session in the bathtub. Then slather on a body lotion. As for the face, gently exfoliate with a gentle scrub or silicone brush that doesn’t scratch the skin surface. Also, book a light AHA/BHA enzyme treatment with your aesthetician.
  2. Switch to a light moisturizer. As the temperatures and humidity increase, we no longer need the heavy creams to keep our skin moisturized, and heavy products can feel sticky and greasy. Add a C serum to your morning routine then apply a light gel-based moisturizer. Choose one with hyaluronic acid (HA) for use at night to help protect the skin barrier from the allergens and pollution in the air as we indulge in more outdoor activities.
  3. Upgrade your SPF. Now that the weather is getting warmer, you really need to start wearing sunscreen. The earth is physically closer to the sun during warmer months, so UV rays are stronger. If you have been diligent with wearing sunscreen, even in the winter months, increase the SPF to at least 50 and make sure your sunscreen products offer broad-spectrum protection. 
  4. Use Facial Mists. We know that drinking adequate amounts of water is important for the skin. But when you are outside, facial mists work on the skin instantly to keep it well hydrated, help it regain brightness, and remove dryness. Mists are also effective in eliminating excess sweat, keeping the skin clean and bacteria-free. 
  5. Take supplements. Make sure you have vitamins E, C, and zinc to boost the skin’s immune system and avoid sun damage, fish or flaxseed oil capsules and probiotics for your internal immune system, and milk thistle if you want to do a gentle liver cleanse. 
  6. Exercise. With the beautiful warmer weather, it would be nice to get outside, jog a few miles, ride your bike or swim. All this exercise and physical activity helps to get healthier, fresher, and smoother skin. 
  7. Lighten the diet. Add the following to your grocery list: asparagus, blueberries, pineapple, grapefruit, beets, and pomegranates. All of these fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants that aid digestion, give you lots of energy, and radiant skin. Cinnamon, green juice, and abstaining from alcohol also works wonders for the skin.
  8. Spring clean your beauty arsenal. Keep nothing that is more than six months old. Go through your skincare products, check the expiration dates, and toss accordingly. Keep in mind that even if a product hasn’t been opened, active ingredients will become less potent and less effective over time.

Make these minor Spring skincare changes along with a healthy and active lifestyle and feel your skin glowing all year long.

For more skincare tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out my other blogs. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We will be happy to see you.

“In winter my favorite outdoor activity is going back inside.”

Baby it’s cold outside… No, seriously it’s freakin’ cold. And this winter weather is just wreaking havoc on my skin. Argh! The harsh, cold outside air combined with the increase in central heating (which, spoiler alert, is also bad for the skin) make it seem like I’m destined for several months of dull, dry, and itchy skin.

So, how do we take care of our skin through this cold snap, especially if you still want to enjoy your winter fun? Luckily, this year, skincare salons are open again so beyond stepping up hydration at home, we can get facials that detox, replenish, and truly rejuvenate the skin.

Here are three of my go-to treatments to avoid winter skin:

For Clean skin

Oxygen — this extensive deep-cleansing and invigorating treatment leaves pores squeaky clean, and the skin brightened and energized. Perfect for dealing with Maskne! It involves spraying highly concentrated molecules of oxygen right into the outer layer of your skin. The oxygen that’s applied to your face and neck is infused with vitamins, minerals, essential nutrients, and botanical extracts.

The addition of a cocoa enzyme, a great antioxidant, to the oxygen procedure increases circulation and results in an even more stimulating facial. At the end of the treatment, a blend of hyaluronic acid and peptides are applied to ensure that holiday glow.

For Hydrated skin

Galvanic electrotherapy — if you need a really deep moisturizing facial, this is the treatment for you. A direct galvanic current is used for infusing water-soluble substances into the skin. The soft or low-intensity electrical current (charged particles) can reach the inner layers of the skin and delivers a high level of hydration especially for those of us concerned about aging. Plus, this is a relaxing experience as the electrodes roll across those tense facial muscles. What’s more? The results of the treatment will last for days.

This procedure delivers that ageless dewy look we see on all those classic movie stars.

For Skin Tightening

Microcurrent — has the pandemic left you feeling a little saggy? This treatment introduces a gentle electric current that re-educates the muscles and gets those collagen elves working to increase production of collagen and elastin in the dermis. It offers the ultimate in tightening and firming.

It’s not the most comfortable of treatments and is best done in a series of six sessions with monthly or quarterly follow-ups. It can also be included in a full facial procedure for the first visit and really gets the skin feeling toned for the holidays.

A light application of lactic or mandelic acid can be added to any of these procedures and is suitable for pretty much any skin type. With all these skincare treatment options, you won’t need to turn on the Christmas lights to dazzle.

For more skincare tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out our other blogs. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are happy to welcome you all back.

“Dear acne, the saying ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it’ does not apply to you.”

In my past blogs I’ve mentioned that I suffered from acne in my teens. Curiously, they were not confined only on my face but on my body too, particularly on my back. They were huge and red; it was painful… enough to warrant a visit to the dermatologist. After consistent application of medication and following the doctor’s advice, it cleared up after 6 months or so.

While the face is a common site for acne, it can affect any body part that has oil-secreting glands or hair follicles, including your chest, shoulders, and your back. In fact, back acne, also referred to as bacne, affects more than half of people with acne. Bacne is the result of an accumulation of dead skin cells and oil [sebum] within the pores in the skin, combined with an overgrowth of a common skin bacteria, Cutibacterium acnes, which triggers an inflammatory response.

Bacne can be particularly stubborn to eliminate, hard to prevent, and can leave deep scars. As with acne on the face, bacne is most common in teens and young adults, in the years when the sebaceous glands are most active because of hormonal fluctuations. But it can also appear at different times according to a person’s health and lifestyle.

Here are a few self-care tips to get rid of bacne, keep your back clear and acne-free, and prevent it from coming back… no pun intended.

1.Shower regularly especially after a workout.

Poor hygiene won’t cause bacne, but good hygiene will help prevent it and clear blemishes. I recommend daily showers and immediately after exercise or any activity that generates perspiration.

2. Exercise safely.

Exercise increases circulation and generates heat, which causes increased production of skin oils and perspiration, perfect food for bacteria. Always change into clean clothes before and after exercising and put a clean towel on exercise machines and mats at the gym. These days most equipment is kept extra clean and sanitized so that’s a bonus.

Avoid synthetic fabrics; choose cotton and light-weight, loose-fitting clothes that allow the skin to breathe and perspiration to evaporate quickly.

3. Keep fabrics clean.

Change other fabrics that frequently touch your skin. For clothing, change daily with a clean shirt or top. And change bed linens twice a week to keep sloughed-off skin cells and oil away from your back.

4. Treat gently.

  • Do not shower in really hot water and avoid antibacterial soaps, astringents, and abrasive scrubs that can make your acne worse.
  • Choose body washes that say, “noncomedogenic” or “oil-free” on the package to avoid clogging your pores. Tea tree body wash and lotions work well.
  • Exfoliate gently two to three times a week using a soft sponge and a mild scrub. Change the sponge regularly as sponges can harbor bacteria.

5. Keep wet hair away.

Conditioner and hair-styling products left on the hair are a frequent cause of blemishes on the back. After shampooing and conditioning in the shower, pull long hair forward and wash the back to keep the residue of hair products off your back. And don’t leave wet hair on your back after swimming.

6. Avoid Excessive Sun Exposure

Contrary to popular belief, the sun will not dry pimples or clear up acne. It simply dries the skin surface making it harder for skin cells to slough off and sebum to be excreted naturally. Sun damages cells and weakens the skin on all parts of the body making it more vulnerable to blemishes and aging.

Use a mineral based facial sunscreen on areas that tend to break out, that includes your back, chest, and shoulders. These SPF’s are formulated to avoid clogging.

7. Use an over-the-counter treatment.

For mild back acne, over-the-counter acne creams and gels containing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, salicylic acid, and sulfur can help get rid of blemishes and prevent new ones from popping up.

8. Watch your diet

Keep a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and well sourced protein, and avoiding sugar and fats, helps to keep skin clearer. Drinking plenty of water and minimizing alcohol intake can also help.

9. Visit the salon

In the last month we’ve seen an uptick in the demand for back facials in my salon. This time of year, a series of back facials is a great idea. The whole back area from waste to neck is treated to a full facial procedure. Clearing the back during the winter months means you will be ready for the joys of summer next year.

If self-care measures, home remedies, and salon treatments don’t improve back acne, make an appointment with a dermatologist.

For more wellness tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out our other blogs. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are happy to welcome you all back.

“I remember smell better than my multiplication tables.”

Last year when I was doing home service facials for my clients, one of the homes I went to had the smell of fresh oven-baked chocolate chip cookies as I walked in. As soon as the scent of chocolate combined with brown sugar and dough hit my nose, I was transported back to my childhood in my grandma’s house and can’t help but reminisce on those good old happy times. For some reason scents have a way of magically bringing back a memory.

Working with beautiful aromas and scents is one of the perks of being an aesthetician and salon owner that I enjoy so much — from the essential oils that freshen the space to the skincare products that I use for my facial treatments. All in all, it makes for a totally relaxing atmosphere. My clients love it and can’t help but comment on the pleasant smell as they enter the salon or as I slather their skin with the mildly scented skincare products. It certainly is a key element in the whole self-care experience.

However, fragrance has garnered a bad reputation recently. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, fragrances are considered one of the leading causes of allergic reactions on the skin. Let’s get to the heart of the matter.

What is fragrance in skin care products?

It’s any ingredient or combination of ingredients added to a product to make it smell a certain way. It could be to cover up an unpleasant or chemical-like smell, or it might simply be there to add a pleasant aroma to an odorless substance.

From moisturizers to serums to sun care, fragrance is added to all kinds of skin care products to make them more pleasurable to apply and bring an element of luxury to your skincare regimen.

Now to find out what’s best for our skin, let’s take a look at different types of formulations.

Natural — are usually created with a mixture of natural-origin ingredients and essential oils.

Synthetic- are made up of artificially derived chemicals and are of particular concern among those with sensitive skin because of their potential to cause irritation.

Fragrance-free — are products that do not have added chemicals that enhance aroma or mask an odor.

Unscented — are products that has no scent. Often so-called masking fragrances are used to cover up unwanted smells from other ingredients that may not have a pleasing odor.

Organic, natural, and green — are botanical extracts and essential oils that may be manufactured or naturally occurring.

Fragrances today aren’t generally harmful, but some people with sensitive skin might like to avoid them. No matter the source, some fragrances may contain allergens. So, both natural and synthetic fragrances may cause irritation to very sensitive skin types. If you have a skin condition, such as dermatitis or eczema, or very reactive and allergy-prone skin, it would be best to use fragrance-free products.

However, only one percent of the general population suffers from fragrance allergies. If you have a more resilient skin type, you may not experience any irritation at all and, in fact, may benefit from the therapeutic element that fragrance brings to a product — whether natural or synthetic. It is usually a safe addition to skin care products and may evoke positive emotions and happy memories as well as bring a more luxurious feel to your routine.

For more skincare tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out our other blogs on Medium. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are happy to welcome you all back.


“Chemistry… if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate.”

My 7th grade chemistry teacher was the first to introduce me to the pH scale by using litmus paper. We could establish the pH value of any liquid by dipping the paper into the liquids and then watching to see what color the paper turned. For example, it would show red for vinegar (acid) and blue for milk (alkaline.) Purple represented a neutral pH. It was fun!

So, what exactly is pH?

The term “pH” refers to “potential of hydrogen”. It concerns the activity of hydrogen ions (ions are molecules that carry a positive or negative charge) in a water-based solution. Hydrogen makes up two thirds of water, water being two hydrogen molecules plus an oxygen molecule, H²o.

The pH of a solution is indicated by a numeric scale that runs from 0–14. Anything below 7 (which is pH neutral) is considered acidic, while anything with a pH greater than 7 is considered alkaline, also referred to as basic.

How does pH relate to our bodies?

In our bodies, blood or cytoplasm are the “solutions” in which the required ions are floating. The normal pH of human blood is 7.35–7.45. Anything above or below that could have negative effects on our health.

With the growing interest in the microbiome in recent years and the ecosystem of our body, the principle of pH balancing is again brought to the forefront. This holistic approach believes that the foundation of healthy digestion is built on a simple eating system that maintains an ideal acid/alkaline (pH) balance in the body. Seventy per cent of the immune system is based in the abdomen and 90% of the tryptophan needed to make serotonin for the brain — essential to ensure we feel good — is made here.

As far as food intake goes, the suggested pH ratio would be a diet of two-thirds alkaline and one-third acid-forming foods. So, to take a step in the right direction, let’s outline a few alkaline foods that we can incorporate in greater quantities and some acidic foods we can eliminate.

Raw, green leafy vegetables like chard, kale and spinach are all excellent alkaline-rich foods. So are avocados, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, coconut, cherries, grapefruit, lemons and watermelon. A healthy way to start and end each day with an alkaline system for example, would be with a cup of warm water flavored with half a lemon.

Things to avoid would be white flour, coffee, red meat, too much alcohol, simple carbohydrates and artificial sugar.

How does pH affect our skin?

Our skin’s surface and uppermost layers are naturally acidic, making it compatible with acidic skin care products. The skin’s average pH is 4.7 and although the pH of our skin increases with age, it remains acidic.

Our skin has a protective film on its surface that’s known as the acid mantle. It plays a vital role by working with skin-natural ingredients like ceramides, cholesterol, enzymes, sweat, and even our skin’s own oil to protect skin’s surface and lower layers from external threats.

The skin’s acidic pH also plays a role in keeping its delicate microbiome balanced. An acidic microbiome makes it more difficult for harmful pathogens to multiply but lets the good stuff flourish. Frequently disturbing skin’s pH to a strong degree can lead to or worsen many problems, including common skin disorders (eczema, acne, rosacea, and wrinkles) and that dry, tight feeling from washing with bar or liquid soaps (most soaps are alkaline). Using highly acidic (pH 2.5 or lower) or alkaline (pH 8 or greater) products causes a significant disruption in skin’s pH too.

To avoid problems, look for pH-balanced skin care products (between pH 4 and pH 7). How do we do that when skincare products in the US don’t show the product’s pH? An easy solution would be to get a pH test kit available online for home use.

So, getting healthy glowing skin is really easy. All it takes is a few simple and inexpensive tweaks to your beauty routine and your diet.


For more skincare tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out our other blogs on Medium. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are happy to welcome you all back.

“Summer is over. Time to officially remember what day of the week it is.”

I remember my first day of college (although it was ages ago). I was excited and nervous at the same time. I was looking forward to a new chapter in my life but also a bit scared whether the students and teachers would be friendly, if I would find my classrooms without getting lost, and if I could catch up with all the lessons. Needless to say, it was stressful. To make matters worse, my skin started breaking out from the stress. Ugh!

It’s back to school time once again, and this year back to school for most students would be in-person after a long period of exclusively online classes. For students who are back on campus in their dorms, there are safety restrictions (of course) and six feet of social distancing. Other students are doing a hybrid model, where they are doing both virtual and in-person coursework. And others are completely remote.

Whatever the format, here is a list of essential products for students to use back in school to make sure their skin makes the grade.

1. First and foremost, have plenty of masks available — both washable and disposable, and lots of hand sanitizer and gloves. Washing with soap and water works really well and is an important part of staying safe and protected but you need some back up when a sink, hot water and soap aren’t around the corner.

Tip: Spray the inside of clean masks with a 2% salicylic acid or a tea tree hydrosol to help control breakouts. And emphasize the importance of using a clean mask every day.

2. Next, select an easy to apply wash-off cleanser that can be used morning and night. This will help to keep the skin clean in spite of late-night studying and constant mask wearing.

3. Bring a few spare pillowcases. These should be changed twice a week to prevent acne breakouts and for good hygiene.

4. Pack a lightweight daily moisturizer that is formulated for your skin type and can be used twice a day. Chances are you’re going to need extra moisture while away, living through winter weather and colder temperatures. Think of one with hyaluronic acid or ceramides for an extra boost.

5. A sunscreen with an SPF 30 should be worn daily. UV rays can still penetrate clouds and cooler weather.

Tip: some sunscreens are also moisturizing and can eliminate the need for regular moisturizers in the morning as long as your skin is not too dry.

6. College dorms are known for their cavalcade of aromas, many of them pungent and unpleasant! Use essential oils to improve the atmosphere, sleep, concentration, reduce stress and increase well-being. Electric plug-ins are safe and easy to use and available on Amazon.

Tip: orange, grapefruit and lemon are great mood elevators. Peppermint and eucalyptus help with concentration. Lavender is calming and can be mixed with any other oil. And of course, all the essential oils improve air quality and smell great!!

7. Hand cream — hands can get very chapped from all the handwashing, especially in cold weather. Keep several tubes in your backpacks and dorm room.

8. Spot treatment — even with daily routines, acne and breakouts happen. That can certainly put a damper on being social even though it is somewhat restricted at the moment. Spot treatments can discourage picking and improve confidence.

Tip: Salicylic acid, tea tree oil and Neosporin crème are all available over the counter and suit most breakout situations.

Being prepped for safety and well-being will allow you to concentrate on your studies and stay focused while still enjoying your college experience.

“In school, you’re taught a lesson and given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.” — Tom Bodett

For more skincare tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out our other blogs on Medium. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are happy to welcome you all back.

“I found a really effective sunblock, It’s called my house.”

Perhaps you can call me a sunscreen bully because I constantly tell my clients to wear it daily before going out, even on a cloudy day. I slather a generous amount on my face and body every morning. It’s always best to protect ourselves from the dangerous UV rays of the sun and from the risk of skin cancer. Now I hear from the news that sunscreen actually causes cancer. What’s going on! And should I freak out already?

Benzene, a colorless liquid that is known to be carcinogenic has been found in some sunscreens and after-sun products by Valisure, an online pharmacy and lab, most of them spray-ons. It’s important to note that benzene is not an ingredient in sunscreen, and Valisure’s petition for a recall of these products suggests that the findings are a result of contamination somewhere in the manufacturing process.

Here’s what changes you can make to stay safe.

With summer in full swing, sunscreen is a necessity for everyone. Beachgoers often reach for aerosols because they are easier and less messy to apply than creams so when their favorite brands are suddenly unavailable there can be a confusing scramble to find a replacement.

Furthermore, the discussion about whether anything is really safe reoccurs, and this leaves people open and vulnerable to sun damage and potential skin cancers. Being in the skincare industry as a fulltime aesthetician, I definitely think it’s not an option to skip on sun protection most especially in the summer.

  1. Pick a sunscreen that wasn’t contaminated. The majority of products tested — over 200 of them — had no detectable amounts of benzene, and uncontaminated sunscreen should continue to be used.
  2. Check and choose formulas for safety. As far as formulation goes, there are two kinds — mineral based with zinc and titanium, and chemical blends that contain actives like octinoxate and homosalate. Very often both formulas contain other anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant ingredients like aloe, green tea, lindera root, arnica and pomegranate, a great source of vitamin C. If you have very sensitive skin or suffer from rosacea, use a mineral based formula. Avoid oxybenzone, an ingredient that may behave like estrogen. Oxybenzone penetrates the skin easily and can disrupt the hormonal system. Look for products that along with zinc oxide, contain 3 percent avobenzone or Mexoryl SX. They protect skin from harmful UVA radiation.
  3. Avoid sprays and aerosols. They cloud the air with tiny particles that may not be safe to breathe particularly when used on children. And remember, a few blistering sunburns in childhood can double a person’s lifetime chances of developing serious forms of skin cancer. Keep infants under 6 months out of direct sun and well covered and shaded at all times. Their skin is not yet protected by melanin. It is important to note that any SPF with a higher protection factor of 30 only provides 1–2% extra protection and a much higher possibility for irritation.
  4. Apply sunscreen liberally at least 30 minutes before leaving the house and layer twice waiting 15 minutes before second application if possible. This ensures a more thorough covering. (Consider any protection contained in make-up a bonus and not a main source of protection.)
  5. Get your skin checked annually by your dermatologist. Men ignore sun safety at their peril. In 2021, the American Cancer Society estimates about twice as many American men are expected to die from melanoma as women. Surveys show that 48 percent of men report routine sun avoidance, compared to 68 percent of women.
  6. Slop on sunscreen and reapply it often, especially if swimming and sweating a lot. If it doesn’t smell right or feel right find another by using these guidelines.
  7. Wear a hat and sun protective clothing. And if possible, seek shade between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunscreen is still a very important, effective, and a safe, scientifically-based way to prevent the harmful effects of the sun. Well, I guess I will be a sunscreen bully for life.

For more skincare tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out our other blogs on Medium. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are happy to welcome you all back.

“The only ex I need in my life is my exfoliator.”

Did someone say New Kids on the Block? Yes, there’s a new kid on the block… the skincare block, that is. And while it’s not the popular boy band of the 90’s it has uh-oh-oh!!! the Right Stuff. They are Polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) and are considered “cousins” of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). They also happen to be one of the latest trendy beauty ingredients touted to banish fine lines.

What are they?

PHAs are chemical exfoliants, often used to remove the unwanted cells on the skin’s surface resulting in a more even skin tone and texture. The most common PHAs are galactose — a naturally occurring sugar that skin uses to synthesize collagen, lactobionic acid — derived from oxidized lactose (milk sugar), and gluconolactone — a powdery substance extracted from gluconic acid, found in animals and corn.

What do they do?

PHAs are a chemical exfoliant. And exfoliation helps to slough away dead, dull-looking skin resulting in reduced hyperpigmentation and improved skin texture. They are related to alpha and beta hydroxy acids but because they are formed from larger molecules, they penetrate the skin more slowly and without irritation.

PHAs hydrate skin. They support the skin’s barrier function, which locks in moisture and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

PHAs also help skin-care ingredients penetrate deeper into the layers of your skin, thus boosting their efficacy.

And, PHAs have antioxidant and humectant properties that help undo and prevent UV and pollution-induced free radical damage to collagen and skin resulting in an anti-aging effect. Over time this can soften fine lines and wrinkles.

Wow!!! Sounds like another great tool for the skincare toolbox.

Here’s a recap on their benefits:

  • They’re Gentle Giants: They stay on the surface where they do a great job without traveling quite as deep as a straight-up AHA.
  • Non-irritating: If you have sensitive skin, you’ll probably be able to apply a PHA with little-to-no stinging or irritation.
  • Keep Skin Moist: PHAs are humectants (meaning they retain moisture reserves) and offer a great way to capture that healthy glow!
  • They’re Anti-aging: These acids may be best known for their exfoliation properties, but their real claim to fame should be that they come armed with tons of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

How do you apply them?

PHAs are used in a wide selection of products, and in a few different ways. They are best applied to the skin at night to give them sufficient time to loosen the bonds between the outermost epidermis. They can be incorporated into any product type — liquid exfoliant, toner, mask, or moisturizer, which can be layered on top.

PHAs can also be combined with retinoids when treating acne or photoaging but be guided by your skincare professional when using PHAs this way to avoid any irritation.

A lot of AHA solutions will have PHAs in them in order to clean up the surface-level debris AHAs miss. PHAs are also added as an extra exfoliating factor to a non-exfoliating product like a cleanser so that dead skin cells are washed away when rinsed off. And PHAs are often the main ingredient and selling point.

If you’re looking for a natural, nontoxic compound that could positively influence cell turnover and keep your skin clear and healthy, PHAs might be the way to go!

For more skincare tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out our other blogs on Medium. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are ready to welcome you all back.


“All you need is love but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

Hi, my name is Marion Simms… and I’m a chocoholic.

In America, we love any excuse to eat a lot of chocolates, Valentine’s Day being one of them. Who can refuse those sweet treats in heart-shaped boxes? If your chocolate consumption concerns you, then it’s worth examining what the impact of all that indulgence will have on your skin.

While it’s true some women may notice a breakout a few days after eating a chocolate bar, sugar is to blame in this case, not chocolate. A diet high in fat and refined sugars, like those found in candy and chocolate, can kick sebum production into high gear and trigger inflammatory responses in the body — both of which are known to increase the risk of breakouts.

To get some clarity let’s start with a couple of interesting facts. A lethal dosage of chocolate for a human being is about 22 lbs (or 40 bars of Dairy Milk). On the other hand, one Smartie or an M&M would be enough to kill a robin or a blackbird. And if you eat a chocolate bunny every day you obviously run the risk of becoming uhm… well rounded.

However, David Asprey in his Bulletproof blog, explains many benefits of chocolate. Here are a few of them…

  1. Chocolate can improve your mood, cognitive performance and give you an energy boost.
  2. It is good for your cardiovascular health because of the polyphenols in cacao which can increase HDL cholesterol (or good cholesterol).
  3. And chocolate can help you maintain glowing skin by modulating healthy blood flow.

In a study, two groups of women consumed either a high flavanol (dark chocolate) or low flavanol (milk chocolate) cocoa powder for a period of 12 weeks. While the low flavanol group showed no change in markers of skin health, subjects in the high flavanol group had on average 25% reduction in UV-induced erythema (sunburn) after exposure to a solar simulator. The high flavanol group also recorded increased skin density and thickness, as well as better hydration and less transepidermal water loss — the evaporation of water through the outer layer of the skin.

Milk chocolate is definitely high in sodium and cholesterol but contains more calcium. Dark chocolate has less calcium but also much less cholesterol and sodium.

One of my favorite facials is a chocolate enzyme treatment which includes a blast of oxygen as well as an application of pure cacao powder. With the combination of the antioxidants (when you indulge!) working from the inside and the brightening, tightening benefits happening on the outside, you are guaranteed a healthy, glowing complexion.

As my dear Granny used to say: “A little of what you fancy does you good”. I say enjoy a moderate indulgence of darker chocolate — anything above 65% cacao — and reap the benefits of this much-loved treat. When eaten in the right quantity it can actually be considered a health food.

“Chocolate comes from cocoa, which is a tree. That makes it a plant… so chocolate is a salad.”

For more skincare tips, check out my other blogs on Medium, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701 or visit our website. We offer a virtual consultation, in-salon treatments, and home service facials to our valued clients.